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The Google Panda Fiasco And The “Moronic” Google Penguin Update (Part Two)

Matt Cutts Google PenguinNow brands, they are really dominating. They started to really dominate the rankings after the first few Google updates last October. But now; they’ve taken over. If you Google a review on any kind of physical product, 90% of the time the first two pages will be full of brands.

Big brand review sites like Epinions and Viewpoint for example. No longer are there many independent review sites built by Internet Marketers. That side of Internet Marketing appears to be very much screwed right now.

I keep saying the dust will soon settle, but right now it seems like this is just the beginning of many evil updates to come. All I can say is Google better introduce a better filter system to sort the good content from the bad. Just because a site has 5 pages, it doesn’t mean it’s full of useless content.

But Google assumes that small websites are full of awful content and only built to make money. If that happened to be true; I would be 100% behind Google and their recent decisions. But unfortunately it’s just not the case.

There are plenty of incredible small-medium sized sites out there that are built by individuals. And 80% of the time… I would rather visit them than some stupid brand/authority website. So that seems to be the case right now with the recent updates.

Brands and massive authority sites are dominating. Little niche sites have been mostly wiped out and some authority sites are still ranking. But the majority of all niche sites have lost a substantial percentage of their traffic.

Overall it’s not a great time to be doing SEO unless you’re a brand or gigantic site. I honestly think people should lay low for a little while and focus on other traffic generation strategies. Most importantly I believe it’s time to dive into paid traffic.

Learn about PPC, learn about PPV, solo ads, media buys and banner advertising. Paying for traffic is the much easier option once you get it right. Sure, at first you might end up throwing away a few thousand bucks. But, as long as you know your stuff and have “some” money to gamble with; you should dive into paid traffic.

I’ve always recommended people to build up a free traffic source using SEO, blogging and content marketing. But it’s become ten times more difficult now. It’s still very doable and works very much the same way it did three years ago. But we’re living in unprecedented times.

What works today in the world of SEO may get you penalized in another year. That’s the key reason why I believe people should dive into paid traffic. Google only has to flip a switch for your entire years worth of work to be ruined.

So feel free to continue doing SEO and keep adapting to these new changes. But if a time comes where you lose everything overnight for using an SEO strategy that was “OK” a year ago; don’t expect Google to care.

In conclusion, SEO still works and it will probably still work in 5 to 10 years time. If you’re going to continue to optimize your site and go against Google’s terms of service (like all SEO’s do), just don’t complain when you get hit by one of these updates.

As from where I’m standing, there is no greater force than Google (they are the Internet) and we can’t fight them. The Google Penguin update was designed to punish people who’ve been spamming Google and going against their guidelines. Apparently it targeted things like “keyword stuffing” or “cloaking” along with the big one; webspam.

Google Penguin UpdateThe Panda and Penguin updates are two completely different things. I haven’t gone into the time lines of when each update hit or even the exact details. The truth is I’m tired of talking about SEO and all of these updates. How everyone needs to constantly adapt and all that crap.

I wanted this post to serve as a wake up call to many frustrated webmasters, marketers and even SEO’s around the globe. SEO will always keep changing so either keep your mouth shut and play the game or go home. Otherwise start using paid traffic. Once you can make paid traffic profitable, you can scale up and your business will explode.

I still recommend everyone to build one free traffic source using SEO. Maybe it’s a website or blog, whatever suits you best. Once you have that free traffic source built up, you can use it to fund paid marketing. But right now it’s all natural selection. Some websites are getting caned while others are walking “Scott free”.

These recent updates have definitely penalized sites using “webspam” tactics to build “artificial backlinks”. That’s why many Google results right now look like did back in the 90’s. Thousands of sites from the 90’s+ are now re-appearing. Why? Just because they built very few backlinks back then. It’s simply because almost every other site on the planet has participated in “unnatural linking” as Google says.

So they’ve had to resurrect some old search results. A lot of these changes don’t make sense, in fact most of them are complete BS. But come on; who’s actually been talking about the good Google’s done? (Not me)

I actually can’t find anyone talking or showing proof of the good Google has done with these updates. I can’t find anyone talking about the better quality of the search results. All I keep hearing is how Google is destroying people’s businesses and worsening the search results.

So is this the end of SEO?

Not at all, but it’s definitely pushed most people to the edge. The best thing you can right now is to continue to publish high quality content and to continue doing SEO. What kind of SEO is the question you need to be asking yourself. If you want to make your life easier, follow Google’s new rules.

Participate in white hat tactics and avoid webspam i.e. most black hat SEO. The Google Penguin has targeted:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Link schemes
  • Cloaking, “sneaky” redirects or “doorway” pages
  • Duplicate content

By link schemes, they mean blog networks and other paid link building tactics along with link spam. The bad news is, it’s quite apparent that many of these penalties are site wide. Meaning you’ll have a very difficult time ranking any of your existing pages or even new pages for a long time.

If you’ve got X number of pages penalized for link spam or any other tactics; Google’s probably put your entire domain on their naughty list. Everyone keeps telling me this, but my experimentation says otherwise. Basically I believe “some” penalities are site wide and others are not.

“Some” websites will be able to completely re-gain their rankings while others will not. Unfortunately this means many people will need to scrap their domains and start over. But hardly anyone’s going to do that. Most will continue to do SEO in the hope of reviving their rankings, but to most’s surprise; they won’t.

But that’s just my opinion. Sure; it’s based on hard evidence, personal results and testing… But who knows. Maybe the dipshits over at Google will throw us a bone. But what are the chances of that?

In Prosperity,

David Wood

P.S. Leave me your thoughts, comments and questions below. Also opt-in to the email list on the right for more SEO tips, tricks, updates and secrets!

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15 comments
TrafficMotion
TrafficMotion

I just linked to this in an article I wrote, and what you write about Google is STILL true. The top 3 results for any search I run in Google these days are 1) exact-match domain if it exists; 2) Wikipedia; 3) About.com; 4) a "universal search" blog or news article; 5-10) the same brand sites on every other search I run.

 

I've had to stop using Google for anything but navigational searches and image searches these days. Just not enough variety or relevancy in their results when I'm researching a topic.

PerfectMiles
PerfectMiles

Hello Friends ..

Google has started the transition for its most successful Product Search feature into a more attractive, user friendly service Google Shopping,allowing users to find the best nearby places to shop for their items. This is going to be a totally new way of finding the information on the web. Website Link : www.perfectmiles.com/google-shopping

Sam Kim
Sam Kim

I have to agree. Tyring to SEO nowadays has become like trying to grab a thin air. Paid media is costly if you make mistakes, but learn by failing....

Tyronne Ratcliff
Tyronne Ratcliff

I heard Google want's everybody to pay for traffic putting an end to organic listings, what are your thoughts Dave?

Billy Witchdoctor
Billy Witchdoctor

Your point about the absence of thought of Google users is valid, however I believer your percentile is way off. I believe a LOT of people feel like they have an 'opinion' about the quality of the results.. They just need someone to slip them an ambien, so they can get a fresh pespective of appropriate actions to take, ie. use a differnt engine. Having said that, I will confess that our 'money-terms' have not deteriorated on Google, but we have alwasy been anti-establishment, anti-seo, hell, I banned the use of the word in our results management firm 3 years ago, I kid you not. Google is pumping cash into our pockets, but I do see a definative difference in my personal searching that I do not like, as well as various positions we held that on the surface appeared impressive, but were producing nothing. Also, if you're smart, you have a link on the pages / sites that Google IS displaying now, which is another scenario that is allowing us to prosper as before in this post-penguin environment. And I am still dumbfounded as to how people seem to think google is like oxygen it's the only element we can breath into our lungs. Change the channel, it's a for-profit search facility, not the government. To those who are feeding the beast, then shocked by it's growth, I simply say feed something else.

Billy Witchdoctor
Billy Witchdoctor

HELLO? I can't believe you are all that stupid. WE control the future of Google. If we want to wipe it off the face of the earth, just stop using it.. Why do people have a disconnect with this logistical fact. Just use another search engine, and Google drops dead. Yahoo is bringing way beter results than they ever have.. It is like pre-penguin goog. Google isn't even that good of a search engine anymore, WTF is wrong with people. Who gives a F what they do, we have freedom of choice.. We are the ones who decides who survives and dies. We are the ones that decide if we want to give google the boot based on their aristocratic market mindset. I say F. google, use anaothe engine, it's not rocket science. Why keep trying to keep your tounge up somones ass if you don't like the smell?

Dr Kavita Shaikh
Dr Kavita Shaikh

You have rightly named the Google Panda and Penguin updates as fiasco and moronic. I guess Google is simply trying to boost paid traffic and gone are the days of free traffic to your blog.

Tyronne Ratcliff
Tyronne Ratcliff

You know what's funny, if you built a site with the intent to make money, wouldn't it have to have great content on it?

Micah
Micah

This, more than ever shows the importance of not relying on a single traffic source. It's like we've learned nothing at all. I mean how many times have we been screwed by Google now? And yet we still all act surprised. The internet is in a constant state of flux, like time and space itself. We can deal with the challenges as they appear, or we can be breed out of the internets evolutionary genetic code. As much as this sucks, and as many people that this is doing genuine harm to, it doesn't seem that the basic rules have changed in the least. Of course the tactics we use are ever evolving, but the core set of marketing principles is everlasting. I think that the one big change we are going to have to accept is that we can no longer afford to be marketing "specialists". You can't be a "ppc" guy or a "seo" girl. We must become marketers as a whole. No matter what they do, the internet still belongs to us.

aleksbusiness1
aleksbusiness1

 @TrafficMotion That's weird. It doesn't mean you can't rank a site these days. Actually it's not that hard. SEO still works and will continue to work :)

 

 

davidmwood
davidmwood

Yes; your points are all valid and I agree. Change the channel or simply diversify. But I still think we have a long way to go before we have a real say in how Google runs their business and more specifically the search results. I agree that a lot of the results are currently worse, but many have been improved. The most common difference is that authority sites are now dominating typical Internet Marketing money keywords. Review keywords in particular, there are barely any independent review sites out there competing right now. They've all been taken over by the user built review brands like Epinions and dumb ass Yahoo voices. Overall; I believe this is just another nail in the coffin for individuals and small businesses trying to make ends meat online with organic Google traffic. Best advice; find a way to make paying for traffic profitable. p.s. sounds like you need to sign this... http://change.org/petitions/google-please-kill-your-penguin-update-l

davidmwood
davidmwood

You have a point, but it's not as simple as that. I could bet 99% of Google users haven't noticed a difference. Or they might have noticed a slight difference in the kinds of results they're getting; but they generally don't give a crap. If all the Internet Marketers, webmasters and SEO's of the world stopped using Google; they wouldn't blink an eye. We are such a small minority of Google's total users.

Billy Witchdoctor
Billy Witchdoctor

I must amend my agreement with one prolific difference of opinion; the petition cited is indicative of my view of the problem. The very notion of a petition like this lends credence to the notion that consumers of Google are failing to grasp the commercial concept of Google, and continue to treat it as an omnipotent constant in the universe. This is flawed-logic. More appropriate than a petition that begs Google to change, would be a notice to consumers to boycott their engine. Begging lends power, boycotting takes it away. Google is only as powerful as the amount of searches consumers execute with it.

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